A Fort Myers man was hospitalized with minor injuries Wednesday after being shot by a Lee County deputy during a traffic stop near the Bayshore Road exit on Interstate 75.
Sheriff’s Office officials said deputies began following 23-year-old Matthew Blaine Wilson when they realized he was driving a stolen pickup truck. As the deputy got closer to the truck while they both drove north, the two vehicles crashed, causing both to leave the roadway at the Bayshore Road off-ramp.
The deputy got out of his car and Wilson began revving his engine, according to spokesman Lt. Larry King. Fearing he would be run over, the deputy fired at Wilson to “stop the lethal threat,” King said in a news release.
Wilson was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. Spokesman Sgt. David Velez said Wilson was in Sheriff’s Office custody being interviewed following his release from the hospital. Officials expected he would be booked into the Lee County jail at a later time on charges of aggravated assault on an officer and grand theft auto.
The Sheriff’s Office described Wilson as a "young career criminal," noting that he had 31 local arrests on his record since 2005. Those arrests include resisting arrest, burglary, grand theft and failure to appear in court.
Wilson has also been on probation since July 24, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives with the agency’s Major Crimes Unit will continue to investigate.
Sheriff Mike Scott said in a news release that Wilson’s actions show a “reckless disregard for life” and illustrate the danger his deputies face every day on the roads.
The northbound off-ramp at Interstate 75 and Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers is closed due to a deputy-involved shooting, NBC-2 reports.
One man was shot by a Lee County deputy and is in custody, according to the station. A stolen vehicle investigation is underway, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
This is the second deputy-involved shooting in Lee County this week. On Monday night, a deputy shot and killed a woman in Bonita Springs after an armed altercation.